Cayuga Power Plant Opponents Hold Forum and Rally

For Immediate Release: September 8, 2018

Contact: Sandra Steingraber, ssteingraber@ithaca.edu, 607-351-0719

Residents, Scientists, Activists Speak Out Against Planned Gas Plant Conversion

LANSING, NY — Finger Lakes community leaders and climate activists held an educational forum and rally in opposition to a planned fracked gas power plant on the shores of Cayuga Lake.

The No Fracked Gas Coalition held an educational forum in the morning at the Lansing Community Center, to an overflowing crowd of about 150 local citizens, followed by a noontime press conference and rally at Lansing Middle School.

Karen Edelstein, Lansing resident and geographer, FracTracker Alliance, said, “The plan to convert the Cayuga Power plant from coal to gas spells disaster for Lansing. With 50 to 120 truck trips per day on our winding, rural roads, delivering compressed ‘natural’ gas to this aging plant, our safety and peace of mind is under assault, along with the climate.”

“Today we bring a message to Governor Cuomo, and it couldn’t be clearer: Here in the epicenter of New York’s anti-fracking movement, we are not fooled by a fossil fuel bait and switch,” said Irene Weiser, Town of Caroline council member and coordinator Fossil Free Tompkins. “We expect you to keep your promise to close all coal-burning plants and build no more fracked gas plants. What we want is solar power with battery storage. We know it’s doable. We know it’s time.”

The event was part of the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice is a global day of action to demand our leaders commit to building a fossil-free world that puts people and justice before profits. Hundreds of events around the world are advancing the call for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all

Sandra Steingraber, PhD, biologist and author, said, “Here in the Finger Lakes, rising for climate means opposing a last-ditch plan to resuscitate the half-dead, coal-burning Cayuga Power Plant with fracked gas hauled in from Pennsylvania by convoys of trucks. Joining with people all around the planet, we’re here today to say, loudly, that it’s time to pull the plug on climate-wrecking fracked gas infrastructure projects, including this one.”

“On behalf of the Cayuga and Onondaga Nations, I have been asked to repeat their strong support for renewable energy generation,” said Joe Heath, general counsel for the Onondaga Nation. “It is no longer acceptable to burn fossil fuels, when Mother Earth is in such grave danger from climate change. We must act together to be stewards of the land, water and air; and to protect them for the future generations yet to come. Water is life.”

Cornell University climate scientist and methane expert Bob Howarth, PhD, said, “Methane is an incredibly powerful greenhouse gas. Over the past decade, methane levels in our atmosphere have been rising at their most rapid rate ever. The latest research indicates that the development of fracked shale gas is probably the largest single driver of this spike in methane globally. We’ve banned fracking in New York, and now we need to stop using the fracked gas extracted in Pennsylvania.”

“When methane starts to rise, so do moms,” said Kathleen Quinn-Jacobs, Dryden resident, Mothers Out Front, Tompkins. “We won’t sit idly by while another fracked gas power plant goes on line, further destabilizing the climate and polluting the air our children breathe. The most solemn duty of parents is to protect our children. We can’t do that as long as fossil fuels are pouring into power plants. Enough is enough.”

“I bring a message to people of Lansing from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the fracking boom. Please think of us,” said Pennsylvania resident Vera Scroggins. “In my county, there are 1,600 gas wells and 52 compressor stations. There is endless truck traffic, noise, and lights. And there are countless environmental violations. People are suffering. Our property values are suffering. Our rights to clean air and water are being violated. Getting the gas out of the bedrock in Pennsylvania to fuel the Cayuga Power Plant in New York will bring further deleterious effects to us.”

Cornell University student Julian Goldberg, Climate Justice Cornell, said, “As Climate Justice Cornell we believe that an exploitation of the planet is an exploitation of the most vulnerable. Today shows that there is a great need for people to rise together and speak out against injustice against our community and environment.”

Gina Cacioppo, Dryden resident, Mothers Out Front, Tompkins said, “When I moved to Tompkins County, New York had just passed the fracking ban, and I felt safe. Later I got involved with Mothers Out Front when I was pregnant with my baby and learned that a gas compressor station was being expanded near my house. I couldn’t believe that this gas expansion was being allowed. Now we face the prospect of compressed gas trucks barreling down our country roads to bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania to fuel the Cayuga Power Plant – a dangerous, polluting, inefficient facility that is twice my age. I’m asking Governor Cuomo to put a stop to the expansion of fracked gas and protect my baby.”

No Fracked Gas Cayuga